“Diversity makes Alberta great. We celebrate that on Canadian Multiculturalism Day.
“This year is especially significant because it marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act.
“Alberta is a province that has welcomed generation after generation of immigrants from around the world who joined the First Nations and Inuit who originally lived here.
“While we have differences, we also share the belief that all people are created equal and should coexist in peace and prosperity.
“I’m proud of my ethnic heritage. My family is part of Alberta’s rich and vibrant mosaic of people from different backgrounds.
“Today we celebrate our diversity. Every day we must strive for even greater inclusivity.”
Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has issued the following release in response to today’s provincial Child and Youth Advocate’s report on the opioid deaths of 12 young children:
Swann stated, “This report makes it clear that our mental health and addictions care is fragmented. We are not adequately integrating families or Government agencies in the care process.
“The care we are providing is too crisis focused. We need to start investing resources in prevention and early intervention as recommended in the Valuing Mental Health Report.
“Most striking is the need to review and reform the Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act (PChAD). Young Albertans are placed in this program as a last resort. It is unclear what treatments they are given and what, if any, follow-up supports they are given.
“This is especially concerning given many patients make harmful connections at PChAD facilities that help facilitate their addiction issues. They need continued support after they leave PChAD facilities.
“I’m calling on the Justice Minister to launch a formal review of PChAD and report the results to all Albertans.
“The Progressive Conservatives created this mess with their antiquated views on addiction. The UCP made it worse by stigmatizing addictions. The NDP are failing to move quickly enough to reform the system..
“Now is the time for a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes early education, promotes prevention and fully integrates family, community, government and non-governmental services.”
Liberal Leader David Khan issues the following statement on the federal equalization formula/payments debate:
Khan stated, “We need less farce and more facts on equalization.
“Both the NDP and UCP are thumping their chests on the equalization issue, trying to score cheap political points against Ottawa. Alberta needs to offer substantive critiques, not hyperbolic rhetoric.
“The Federal Government is not going to negotiate on inflammatory talking points.
“Alberta Liberals want to focus on substantive facts. We should be discussing sensible solutions like uncoupling the size of the program and payments from GDP growth—increasing its flexibility—and fair treatment of other provinces’ hydro revenue in the formula. We also believe it’s necessary to eliminate the “quirky” extra “adjustment payments” mechanism and address the three-year moving-average “lag” in the formula’s calculation. Ultimately, consideration should be given to shrinking the scale of the equalization program.
“The Federal Government was wrong to renew the equalization program until 2024 without consultation with the provinces. Nor did it consider renegotiation and reform to make it more fair and up-to-date. But neither the NDP nor the UCP constructively incentivize negotiation. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
“Both Mr. Kenney and Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci lack credibility on this issue. Mr. Kenney was a Cabinet Minister in the Harper Government which created the current equalization formula. He defended it then. He opposes it now.
“Mr. Ceci was informed in advance the current equalization formula would be renewed with no consultation, negotiation or changes. He did not speak up then. He loudly criticizes it now.
“Both the NDP and the UCP are not providing leadership. Neither is the Federal Government.
“Albertans deserve better. We need serious, factual discussion to achieve meaningful changes to the equalization formula. Alberta Liberals will provide the leadership needed on this important issue.”